B.C. author Jillian Christmas wins $10K Dayne Ogilvie Prize, which recognizes emerging LGBTQ writers
Jillian Christmas is the recipient of the 2021 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers.
The $10,000 prize is awarded to a developing author from the LGBTQ community whose published work demonstrates great literary promise.
Christmas is a queer, Afro-Caribbean writer, educator, curator and consultant based in Vancouver. She is the spoken word curator of the Vancouver Writers Fest and the former artistic director of Vancouver's Verses Festival of Words.
Christmas is the author of the poetry collection The Gospel of Breaking. Befitting someone who "speaks things into being," she extracts from family history, queer lineage and the political landscape of a racialized life to create a rich, softly defiant collection of poems.
"I am so honoured to be a part of this lineage of LGBTQ2SIA+ writers who have created phenomenal and beloved works," Christmas said upon receiving the award.
"The Gospel of Breaking is an unforgettable book that speaks to lineages of Black queerness while showing how poetry and cadence can inhabit a body," the jury said in a statement.
"A writer of exceptional skill who circles back on memory and consciousness, she challenges us, through her own compassion and vulnerability, to confront oppression and to imagine new possibilities for justice and belonging."
The jury was comprised of Daniel Allen Cox, Eva Crocker and Danny Ramadan.
The other two finalists were Kama La Mackerel and jaye simpson. They will each receive $1,000.
Last year's Dayne Ogilvie Prize winner was Arielle Twist.
Robin Pacific established this prize in 2007 to honour her late friend, Dayne Ogilvie, who was a respected editor, writer and lover of the arts.
The Writers' Trust of Canada is an organization that supports Canadian writers through literary awards, fellowships, financial grants, mentorships and more.
The organization was founded in 1976 by Margaret Atwood, Pierre Berton, Graeme Gibson, Margaret Laurence and David Young.
It also gives out seven prizes in recognition of the year's best in fiction, nonfiction and short story, as well as mid-career and lifetime achievement awards.